Hemel Summer Festival with The Big Garden Party

News Watford Borough Council, Hempstead Road, Town Hall, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 3EX

Saturday 22 July kicks off the Hemel Summer Festival (22 to 30 July) with a Big Garden Party to celebrate the reopening of the regenerated Water Gardens.


The day will be packed with free family fun, including AmeyZoo with its collection of exotic pets, a stage in Bank Court with live entertainment, children's craft activities and street performers.


  • The day will be packed with free family fun, including :
  • AmeyZoo with its collection of exotic pets
  • a stage in Bank Court with live entertainment
  • children's craft activities
  • street performers.


The Friends of the Water Gardens will be on hand to answer your questions about Jellicoe's favourite garden, as well as offering garden tours and river dipping.


There will be opportunities for traditional pastimes, such as model boating, as well as the more modern geocaching - a cyber treasure hunt.


Hemel Hempstead Library will be holding story-telling sessions and there will be many community groups and charities providing a variety of stalls to wander round.


There will be picnic rugs where you can relax while sipping a cool drink from the Prosecco bar and sampling delicious foods including crepes, curries, fresh strawberries and ice cream.


Events location map

A map showing the location of attractions can be viewed here:  The Big Garden Party map (PDF 358KB).


Miniature garden competition

As part of the celebrations we are inviting all budding garden designers to enter our miniature garden competition. Be creative, be inventive and let your imagination run wild! All gardens will be on display throughout the day and prizes will be awarded by the Mayor of Dacorum.

We would like to thank the following companies for donating a prize: Bella Italia, Shendish Manor, Sportspace, XC and Apsley McDonald's.


Competition rules

  • Entries must be dropped off at Waterhouse Street by 10.45am on Saturday 22 July, where they will be on display during the day.
  • To qualify, the garden container must be small enough to be carried by one person.
  • There will be three age groups, up to 8, up to 15 and 16 and over.
  • Judging will be conducted by the Mayor of Dacorum at 12pm, prizes will be awarded in Bank Court at 1pm.
  • The judge’s decision is final.

More festival events


Beach party

On Sunday 23 July Riverside Shopping Centre will host its Beach Party, open from 10am to 5pm. There will be a giant sandpit, complete with buckets and spades, for endless hours of fun. The children’s play area in the centre will play host to party fun with balloons, glitter, tattoos and magic show.


Movies on the Marlowes

Watch your favourite films on our big screen every day (Monday 24 July to Friday 28 July) at 10am. Following the films there will be themed free film fun on the Rainbow Stage and at Riverside. 
  • Monday 24 July - A Bug's Life
  • Tuesday 25 July - Finding Dory 
  • Wednesday 26 July - Toy Story 
  • Thursday 27 July - Monsters, Inc. 
  • Friday 28 July - Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Food and drink festival

Eat, drink and relax at the Marlowes Food and Drink Festival on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July (11am to 5pm). Across the weekend there will be free fun for the whole family with street food traders - including Papa Paella, Funky Elephant, It's Grilled, Rustics Pizza, Carnevals, Waffle Wagon, Jack's Smoke Shack, Khana Cookery, Cheese Teller, Old Vodka, The Giggly Pig company, Peppery Pig, Lloyds Wines, Chef Pantry and Celtic Bakery - artisan market stalls, live music and kids' entertainment. 



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